What are you doing now: After twenty one years in the Air Force. my first day as a civiialn began at 0001 hours on 01 July 1974. I was at that very moment busy installing SONAR equipment in the bow of one of the Spruance class anti-submarine and ship destroyers being built at the Ingalls Automated Shipyard. Having been authorized for the work release program two months prior, I earned my Air Force check and one from Litton plus got a two month jump start on civilian life. So I jumped right in. I worked on the grave yard shift. Working in the metal hull of a ship in mid-summer in Pascagoula, Mississippi is not conducive to making one a happy camper, so I looked for other employment. I found it at the Waterways Company in Pass Christrian, Mississippi.
I was employed as a Port Engineer for Bow Steering Units that were used by barge lines that ploughed the Inland Waterways of the nation. I e\repaierd, maintained and installed electronics control equipment that was installed in the rake of a small bow steering unit that was placed in front of the string of barges. It enabled the pilot in the wheel hous at the rear of the barge string to control the front end. I was happy with this work as I was usually in and out on a service call in avery short time and I got to travel a lot to see the country at Company expense. The Company provided me with a car and credit card which was great. How ever it was to good to last as the Company filed for bankruptcy August of 1975.
Margaret's cousin informed us of a position open at Richmond Technical College where she worked. I applied and was immediately accepted. We placed our Mississippi hom on the market and moved to Hamlet, NC where was and instructor in Adult Basic Education (3 Rs) , Electronics and Industrial Math. I was a happy camper bur I wanted to concentrate on teaching my Air Force Specialty. Teaching Adult Basic Education could become frustrating at times although it was very rewarding when I was successful. I guess it because it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. One must have the patience of JOB to teach Adult Basic Education.
A position for a full time Electronics Instructor opened up at Chesterfield-Marlboro College in Cheraw, SC where my wife and dearest friend Margaret and I had previously met and married. I applied and was again immediately accepted. I was a very happy camper there but a representative of The Weller Company visited me after class one day and offered me a position as a Manufacturing Engineer. He offered double my salary with unbelievable perks and benefits. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.
I'm sure that all of you electrical and electronics maintenance technicians are familiar with the Weller Soldering Gun or Soldering Irons. We all had them issued in our tool boxes. With the advent of solid state circuits, thin film and ceramic circuits,a requirement for more precise soldering tip temeperature was required. I was employed as one a team of engineers to fulfill this need. My responsibility was to develop the assembly processes, design, build or buy the machinery required to accomplish this, develop elctro-mechanical contols required, design and build equipment to test and calibrate the finished circuits and products and train assmbly line personnel on the assembly process. I was a very happy and successful camper until NAFTA was passed in 1993 and the company moved to Mexico City in 1995. We decided not to go with the Company as we had put down roots and had no desire to move.
During my tenure with Weller I had began an investment program. I read two books by Benjamin Graham titled "The Intelligent Investor" and "Security Analysis", the last was co-authored by David Dodd and Forward by Warren Buffet, I became a disciple and have done well as an investor ever since. My wife Margaret and I had all we need and want for nothing.
After 54 years of marriage, my wife Margaret passed on 28 March 2011. Nearly three years later, my hiatus ended with a hearing in the Probate Court of Cobb County, Georgia. After being bandied about the courtroom for five days, I turned it over to my atorney and refused to endure anymore. Big mistake, the Court decided that I was not competent enough to make decisions concerning my own affairs even though I had very recently scored in the 85th percentile of the Competency Exam I had taken prior to the hearing. In addition, I was examined by three psychologists and a psychiatrist. All of them declared in court depositions that I was competent and could render decisions concerning my health and financial affairs. In my opinion, the Officers of the Probate Court lacked the competancy to render a fair and equitable decision. What it all boils down to is money. Since 4 Sep 2013 when I became embroiled in this fiasco through 21 May 2015 there were deposits totaling $109,515.46 payed into my estate. Disbursements of $84,301.39 were paid out. Of this $62,968.77 went to Court Officers, litigation fees and fiduciary expenses. The fiduciary published that I received $9,546.24 while in fact I may have received as much as $7,896.24.
It is impossible for me to calculate how much of my funds are going for legitimate expenses. The fiduciary has failed to pay my attorney his retainer and I have proven to be totally incompetent in a courtroom.
I believe that my case is just the tip of the iceberg. Every County Probate Court in the nation should be soundly investigated as they, like Cobb County, are hot beds for miscarriages of justice and exploitation of the elderly and disabled. I have since filed a complaint with the State Division of Elderly and Disabled Persons Protective Services but to date nothing has come of it. I intend to carry this even further and try to make a Federal case out of it. On 3 August 2025 I read a report from theVeterans Adminstration Office of the Inspector General (VAOIG) that reported actions taken against unscrupulous lawyers who were caught doing similar things to that which has been done to me. I sent a complaint on the OIG Hotline and received a message that my complaint is under reveiw and if reason was found an investigation would be shceduled. Maybe I'll get lucky and a Federal case will be opened. Changes certainly need to be made in the handling of the incapacited and aged people in the Probate Courts of the Land.
If you should be unfortunate enough to answer a competency petition filed by one of your loved ones, a friend or a concerned associate, don't do as I did and run out and enlist a high priced attorney to handle your case as he will ask you to sign contract wherein you will be billed at his going exorbitant rate. It is the courts responsibility to appoint an able attorney at a much reduced rate.
When you take the stand keep in mind that the weight of proof lies with the petitioner who must present their evidence first. If there is no proof, then you should decline to answer any questions due to your fifth amendment right not to incriminate yourself. My attorney failed to notify me of this. During my examination the petitioner's attorney asked me questions that tended to confuse and embarass me. I therefore presented a poor picture to the Probate Judge. I believe that had I claimed the fifth I would not be in the predicament I now find myself.
I recently conferanced with the Case Manager from the Division of Adult Protective Services. She agreed that what is happening to me and possibly other Wards of the State should be stopped. She and I also conferanced with the two Veteran Service Officers here and they sent an email to their Regional Director requesting him to take immediate action on my request for a fiduciary. He anwered immediately that he would pass it on to the Director of the Fiduciary Office in South Carolina. He will email back as soon as the vetting process for the person I selected to be my fiduciary is completed. After I get this approved, I will be able to bypass the Conservator that is currently mangaging my estate. All of my income will be deposited in a joint account between my Federally appointed Fiduciary. I will be issued a Debit Card and have full use of the account. Things are looking up for me and I will continue my fight.
July I had a competency hearing at the VA Center in East Point, GA and in August my fiduciary was approved to receive my VA Comp. This made me financially secure again. On 1 Sep. 2016 I received my VA Comp check for the month of Aug and requested that henceforth it It be deposited on a US Direct Express Card. Yesterday my lawyer stopped by with an amendment to the Probate Judges Final Order removing the court appionted Conservator and appointing my Federal Fiduciary in his place as soon as we post a $75,000 bond, which will make me a happy camper again.
Copy the above link and paste it in your browser if you woul like to read my hometown news release of my case.
Other Comments: Something great has come of all of this. I am currently a resident of the Trinka Davis Veterans Village located in Carrollton, Georgia. Here we receive outstanding healthcare and treatment. For instance, yesterday I observed our Chief Physician accompanying a grossly overweight resident on his daily walk in the heat of the day. The motto is "We Care". All residents feel they are very fortunate to be here.
Trinka Davis donated millions of dollars and set up "The Trinka Davis Foundation" to build and support the facility. This very afternoon, ladies of the Foundation invited all residents who were able to dine at the Cracker Barrel Restuarant. They were permitted to order anything they desired from the menu. The people of Carrollton hold veterans of all services in highest regard. I have the best "job" I've ever had. My room is cleaned daily, my clothes are washed upon request, I select each meal from a menu and it is prepared to order, acivities and excercise are provided for all who wish to partake. Tonight we will attend a Juice Newton with the Exiles Concert.
Next week we will attend a Braves Game and the following week we get to attend the US Open Tennis Tournement. I have never had it so good. Here, I am Jones so I don't have to try to keep up with him. There are many more such events in store for us.
I live among a band of warriors, some of which served in WWII and or Korea, some who were POWs, some who served in Korea and or Veitnam and others who served in Veitnam and or the Middle East Wars. I have been here over a year now and have heard some real war stories. I will probably hear a lot more.
A couple from my Church arrive to pick me up every Sunday morning enabling me to attend reqularly. We also have a Chaplain who leads non-denominational services and discussions during the week.
We each have a private room, bath and a 36" tv, cable and wi-fi. I purchased a Macbook Pro and a USB to HDMI adapter cable and plugged it into the tv. I now have the capability to watch my moviesl, listen to my music, make my own music all kept in storage in one small corner of my room. The rooms all open out into a great room which is provided with a 50" tv with cable and DVD for watchi tv as a group.. The kitchen and dining area is located at the far end of each house.
There are four houses, each housing 11 men. The other two houses are named Freedom House and Liberty House. When I arrived, here this house only had myself and one other resident. Two weeks later, two more residents arrived. I suggested that our house needed a name and recommended that we call ours Patriot House on the basis that it was patriots who fought for freedom, liberty and justice for all. We held a vote and it was accepted by all. Unless I miss my bet, I'm sure the fourth house will be named Justice House.
Today is 15 August 2015. Tonight a good number of us will attend the Mill Town Muic Hall Concert featuring the "Oak Ridge Boys". It will be interesting to see if they sing as well as they did 15 years ago when Margaret and I attended one of their shows in Charlotte,NC.